Peter – I had the privilege of being raised in a Christian home and accepted Christ as my Savior at the age of ten. I attended a missions minded Independent Baptist church in Meridian, Idaho, and, as a young teenager, surrendered my life to the Lord to be used of Him in whatever way He should choose. Although I had a desire to do something for God, I would never have imagined I could be a preacher. As I graduated from high school, I planned on attending a secular university for an Engineering major. Several months prior to enrollment, God called me to preach through a nursing home ministry I was involved in. My plans changed, and I attended Bible school at Treasure Valley Baptist Bible Institute.
Midway through my second year of school, God used a sermon preached by a missionary to help me realize that I was not fully surrendered to the Lord. I was telling God where He should lead me. I repented and immediately afterwards, I felt God was calling me into missions. It wasn’t long afterwards that I began to be burdened for Latin America and, specifically, South America.
I graduated with a Bachelor of Divinity degree and went to Zambia and Malawi. This particular trip served to deepen my heart for missions. I learned much about the reality of missions. Loneliness, physical problems, emotional problems, mental problems, and spiritual problems became real to me; and I was able to see firsthand what it really was like to be a missionary. The greatest lesson I learned there was that God does not need us or our talents; He simply needs us to be empty and allow Him to use us.
Upon returning to the United States, I was offered an internship as an assistant pastor in North Carolina. During my two year internship, I learned many valuable lessons and functioned as a missions director, helped establish and taught in a Bible institute, organized church ministries, and gained more experience preaching. In 2009 I led a missions trip to Colombia, and God began to burden my heart for the Colombians.
I attended Camp BIMI (Basic International Missionary Institute) at Baptist International Missions for two consecutive years as I continued to prepare for the missions field. It was during the second year of camp that I met my wife. During our engagement I began working for Liberty Baptist Church in Ft. Pierce, FL, teaching Science and Bible in the Christian school. By the leading of the Lord and the advice from our pastor, we took a survey trip to Colombia. While there, God confirmed in our hearts that He had called us to reach these people with the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In December of 2011 we were accepted as BIMI missionaries and begun deputation in 2012. By the grace of God, our support was raised quickly and on December 28th, 2013 we left for language school in Costa Rica. Upon receiving my diploma in Spanish, we moved to Colombia in June of 2014. Several months were spent with a veteran missionary couple helping and adapting to the basics of Colombian culture before venturing out to the city of Rionegro to begin our first church plant in October of 2014.
By God’s grace, today Iglesia Bautista Victoria or Victory Baptist Church is a thriving church preaching the gospel to the many lost souls here in Colombia.
Elisabeth – As a young child, I had the privilege of being in church and hearing the gospel preached many times. One evening after church I realized that I needed to be saved, and my father led me to the Lord. I began to grow in my walk with the Lord as a teenager and had the privilege of attending camp. It was there that I got reassurance of my salvation, surrendered my life to God, and made many other decisions to follow Him in regards to my standards.
One day in February of 1999, during a missions conference, I surrendered to God to be a missionary. In order to prepare for the mission field, I went to a Christian college, majoring in Elementary Education. Upon research, I saw that many mission boards recommended that missionaries work two years in the States before leaving for the foreign field; so I began to pray that God would show me where to go. Immediately after graduating, He opened up an opportunity to teach at Liberty Baptist Academy.
A few years later, I met my husband. Because God had begun to work in our hearts regarding Colombia, we took a survey trip. While there, God confirmed His definite call upon our lives to reach this country with the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.” – Lord Tennyson